The Edge Chronicles: Midnight over Sanctaphrax by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
The first Edgelands trilogy comes to an end, as Twig and his crew learn that a great storm is coming from beyond the Edge. The good news is that if the storm makes it to the headwaters of the Edgewater river, the water will be replenished and the river will run clean again. The bad news is that Sanctaphrax is in the way, and if something isn’t done the storm will destroy the flying academy city and not reach the headwaters. To complicate things, Twig has amnesia . . .
Of course, some of this would be spoiled by reading about the start of the next book . . .
As the second Edge trilogy begins, a full generation has passed. There is a New Sanctaphrax, but a sickness has struck the flying stones that allowed easy travel and also supported Sanctaphrax. Ships are all grounded, and New Sanctaphrax is barely kept off the ground by an ever-growing and being-repaired framework of wood. There are settlements now in the Deep Woods, and access to these settlements is via a road controlled by the Shrikes, ferocious, matriarchal flightless birds, who are the only ones who can pass through the Twilight Woods without coming under its baleful influence. The Sanctaphrax community has schismed, with the Guardians of Night holding New Sanctaphrax and the Librarian Knights being forced into hiding in the sewers. Every now and then the Librarian Knights select some of their students to go off to the Free Glades in the Deep Woods and finish their studies, becoming full Librarian Knights. This time, one of the three being sent is young Rook Barkwater, an orphan who was not even supposed to be in contention for this honour. With his companions, Rook sets off for the Deep Woods, facing danger on every side and treachery on arrival. We also learn the final fate of Twig and his crew, and a melancholy tale is.
This is not a series you can just pick up in the middle; if you want to read this book you had better have read Cast In Shadow and Cast In Courtlight first. If you didn’t like those, you won’t like this.
In it, Kaylin investigates the theft of a major artifact from a run-down little shop that is more than it appears. This leads her to the enclave of yet another race of Elantra: the Tha’alani, a race hated in Elantra for their telepathic nature. Kaylin hates them too, preferring to keep her thoughts secret to herself only. Can she work with them, before the missing artifact destroys the city?
Recommended, even Highly recommended, but only if you’ve read the first two.